On September 2, 2005, a few days after the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit, New Orleans police officer David Warren shot and killed Henry Glover. On December 9, 2010, Warren was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to 25 years and nine months in jail. Today, Warren is a free man.
As ProPublica's A.C. Thompson recounts, Warren was guarding a police substation set up in a strip mall in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Glover and his friend approached the strip mall. Warren shot Glover in the chest. Warren claimed he thought Glover was an armed looter and shot in self-defense. Glover was not armed. Warren shot him from the second floor of the strip mall, 66 feet away. According to the New York Times, Glover was shot while he was running away.
After the shooting, Glover's friend ran to get his brother. The two, with a still-alive but heavily bleeding Glover, flagged down a passing car to drive Glover to a hospital. The driver instead went to a temporary police station, set up in an elementary school. It was closer, and the driver figured the police would be able to treat or call an ambulance for Glover. When they arrived, the driver told Thompson, police officers handcuffed the three men, beat them, and then drove the car away with Glover in the back seat, saying it was evidence.
Another group of police officers later found the burnt-out shell of the car with Glover's charred remains still in the back seat. The coroner found no evidence of a homicide, and there was no investigation into Glover's death until after Thompson's report came out.
Warren's 2010 conviction was overturned in 2012; the judge said it was prejudicial that Warren was tried with four officers accused of covering up Glover's death and burning his body (two of those officers were acquitted), as Warren was not present at and said he had no knowledge of the cover-up.
At Warren's new trial, neither Glover's burned body nor the cover-up were mentioned. Though the jury was deadlocked at one point in its two days' of deliberations, Warren was ultimately found not guilty.
One of Warren's lawyers, Rick Simmons, said after the trial: "There's no winners, only survivors" and that Glover was "a victim of Katrina. He's not a victim of an unreasonable shooting by Warren."
Warren is one of several police officers accused of post-Katrina shootings whose convictions were later overturned. Five police officers who were accused of firing on a crowd of unarmed people, wounding four and killing two, had their convictions overturned in September.
At a press conference following his acquittal, Warren gave his first public comments about the shooting. He said he still believed what he did on September 2, 2005, was right and that he had no regrets.
Via WDSU's Travers Mackel, here is Warren today:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.